Thursday, October 27, 2016

NAMM '17 news: She Rocks Awards

The Women’s International Music Network (the WiMN) has announced the 2017 She Rocks Awards honorees. Paying tribute to women in the music industry, the fifth annual awards at the NAMM show will take place on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at the Anaheim Hilton Hotel in Anaheim, Calif. 

“We are excited to recognize our 2017 honorees, who come from diverse areas of our industry. Each has made her contributions in her own, unique way, inspiring and energizing others. We look forward to honoring them all and sharing this celebration of women in music,” said the WiMN founder, Laura B. Whitmore.

The 2017 She Rocks Awards recipients include:

• Monique Boyer, director, global artist relations/PRO membership at M.A.C. Cosmetics
• Rebecca Eaddy, marketing communications manager for Roland Corporation U.S.
• Lita Ford, legendary rock guitarist, vocalist and songwriter
• Beverly Fowler, director of artist relations and events at PRS Guitars
• Lisa Foxx, radio personality at MYfm on the iHeartRadio network
• Charyn Harris, conductor of music programs at A Place Called Home
• Karrie Keyes, founder of Soundgirls and sound engineer for Pearl Jam
• Tracy Leenman, owner of Musical Innovations music retailer
• Dani Markman, director, A&R, Disney Music Group
Shirley Manson (pictured above), lead singer from multi-award winning band, Garbage
• Esperanza Spalding, Grammy® Award-winning bass player, singer/songwriter
• Leanne Summers, president/CEO of LAWIM (Los Angeles Women in Music)

In addition, the She Rocks Awards will host the album release of She Rocks Vol 1, A Collection of Kick-Ass Guitar Goddesses, a compilation of eleven virtuoso female guitarists produced by Brad Tolinksi and released on Steve Vai’s Favored Nations label. Performances from the artists on the CD will be included in the program.

The She Rocks Awards will open with a performance by Brandy Robinson, winner of the #SaveAGuitar opening act contest. The house band for the show, Rock Sugah, is led by bassist Divinity Roxx and features Kat Dyson on guitar, Benita Lewis on drums and Lynette Williams on keys.

Gearing up for its fifth consecutive year, the She Rocks Awards pays tribute to women who display leadership and stand out within the music industry, and has become a standard at the NAMM Show. Previous award recipients include female industry leaders such as Chaka Khan, Jennifer Batten, Karmin, Colbie Caillat, Sheila E, The Bangles, Orianthi, Dinah Gretsch, Craigie Zildjian, Janie L. Hendrix, Amani Duncan, Mary Peavey, and more.

With featured performances, food and beverages, giveaways, networking opportunities and more, the She Rocks Awards brings together industry professionals, music icons, artists, fans, and media to celebrate women in music.

This event has sold out for the past four years and does not require a NAMM badge to attend.

Tickets are on sale now at

The 2017 She Rocks Awards is sponsored by Neumann, Gretsch, Seymour Duncan, Avid, PRS Guitars, Roland, #SaveAGuitar, Breedlove, Zildjian, Guitar Center, Casio, 108 Rock Star Guitars, Sabian, Linear Integrated Systems, Schecter Guitars, Gator Cases, Berklee College of Music, The Music People, LAWIM, Music Inc., Music & Sound Retailer,, Premier Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player, Keyboard, Bass Player, Electronic Musician, and more.

NAMM '17 news: TEC Awards

As part of its 32nd Annual NAMM Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards (NAMM TEC Awards), The NAMM Foundation has announced that veteran guitarist Joe Perry (Aerosmith, Hollywood Vampires) will receive the prestigious Les Paul Award. The annual award is given on behalf of the Les Paul Foundation and honors individuals that have set the highest standards of excellence in the creative application of recording technology in the spirit of the famed audio pioneer, inventor and musician, Les Paul.

The award will be presented at a Jan. 21 ceremony being held in Anaheim, CA as part of The 2017 NAMM Show. Perry, who was included in Rolling Stone’s list of “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time,” is also scheduled to perform live before an audience of pro audio and sound production inventors, musicians and industry friends.

"Anytime my name is mentioned in the same sentence as Les Paul, it’s a huge honor,” says Perry. “Getting an award bearing his name is the icing on the cake."

A long-standing co-founding member of Aerosmith, whose music repertoire spans four decades, Perry’s versatile musicianship and influence has helped pave the way for a long list of accolades that reach beyond the band’s more than 150 million albums sold.

In the role of principal songwriter, lead guitarist, and as producer for multiple tracks featured on several notable Aerosmith albums, Perry’s talent has helped contribute to the super group’s four Grammy® Awards, (one of which includes Perry’s guitar-based instrumental “Boogie Man”); six Billboard Music Awards; twelve MTV Video Awards; and two People’s Choice Awards, to name a few.

"Joe Perry was a friend of Les Paul's and is undoubtedly one of the most innovative and talented musicians of our time,” says Michael K. Braunstein, Executive Director, Les Paul Foundation. “His ability to push boundaries of the electric guitar with his signature sound and deft playing ability embodies the true spirit of what Les Paul and the award given in his name stands for.

The Les Paul Award has been presented at the NAMM TEC Awards to remarkably-distinguished and accomplished individuals from the music industry, including such luminaries as Sir Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townsend, Slash and last year's recipient, Don Was. The Les Paul Foundation could not be more thrilled to be adding Joe Perry to this amazing list."

Hollywood also became a part of Perry’s musical resume when his familiar riffs were heard on the band’s hit song “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” (from the soundtrack to “Armageddon”), which received an Oscar nomination for Best Song. Among many other TV and film projects, Perry also composed the theme song for the “Spiderman” animated TV series and provided the instrumental music for “This Thing of Ours,” starring James Caan. More recently, Perry released an album with Hollywood Vampires, featuring Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and special guests.

Watch for news related to his upcoming sixth solo album and learn more about Joe Perry here.

Along with Perry, famed Aerosmith engineer and producer Jack Douglas, will be inducted into the NAMM TEC Hall of Fame, which was created nearly thirty years ago to honor pioneers of audio technology, as well as the music industry’s most accomplished producers and audio technicians.

Douglas is associated with many of the band’s most iconic releases and affectionately dubbed "the sixth member" of Aerosmith for having contributed lyrics to several tracks released from the band. He also engineered and produced many multi-platinum Aerosmith albums including Toys in the Attic and Rocks, both of which ranked among Rolling Stone's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” Douglas rose to prominence when the Record Plant Studio opened its doors and eventually engineered John Lennon’s Imagine and the Who’s Who’s Next EP.

The NAMM TEC Awards celebrate the pro audio community by recognizing the individuals, companies and technical innovations behind today’s sound recordings, live sound, films, television, and video games.

Outstanding Technical Achievement and Outstanding Creative Achievement nominees were announced earlier for the Saturday, Jan. 21. Tickets can be purchased on site or in advance here for $50 (General Admission) or $175 (VIP). The show will be hosted by comedian Sinbad and will be available via a live event web stream during The NAMM Show.

An interview with Aaron Lewis

Photo: Jim Wright
When it comes to country music, Aaron Lewis is a traditionalist. He finds inspiration in classic albums by legends like Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Jr., George Jones, Charlie Daniels, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson — all of which he name-checks in his current upbeat single “That Ain’t Country.”

In the lyrics, he sings that today’s hit-makers are “full of tales of good times and happy endings/my life ain’t like that/so I’ll keep listenin’ to the old songs that my granddad used to play/full of pain and heartbreak and desperation and the ones that got away.”

Lewis first came to prominence during the late ’90s as the vocalist for Staind. A mainstay on now-defunct Inland Empire radio station KCXX/103.9 FM, the alt-metal band racked up four platinum CDs and a dozen top 20 singles through 2012.

The group suddenly came to a crossroads when Lewis got tired of reliving childhood dramas and wanted to try something new.

Having grown up in rural Massachusetts (where he still lives with a wife and daughters), country music is at Lewis’ core. Debut EP “Town Line” was well-received and reached No. 1. The single “Country Boy” featured Jones and Daniels; its video even received a CMT nomination. Full-length follow up “The Road” made a stronger impression and Lewis played the 2012 Stagecoach Festival.

Now the singer is back with a new label (Dot Records, distributed by heavyweight Big Machine) and new producer (Buddy Cannon, whose resume includes George Strait, Haggard and Jones) for a solid second album, “Sinner.”

Last month, it topped Billboard’s country albums chart and boasts impressive guests including Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss and Vince Gill. Everything was recorded in a brisk 16 hours.

“We wanted to do it the old-fashioned way, where you had to knock it all out in one take,” Lewis said. “The experiment really worked well.”

Krauss, a multiple Grammy winner with Union Station and Robert Plant, arrived to harmonize on one song, then ended up contributing to several more.

“She liked the record so much that she kept calling to ask if she could come in and sing again, which is just amazing,” recalled Lewis. “I’m blessed and so lucky for her to have been a part of it and appreciate what I was doing.”

The same held true for Union Station’s multi-instrumentalist Dan Tyminski, the singing voice of George Clooney in the 2000 film satire, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”

“He’s all over the record, playing guitar and singing backup harmonies,” noted Lewis, who still can’t believe his fortune getting to work with such artists. “I pinch myself every day.”

Despite the high caliber of talent around Nashville these days, Lewis had a hand penning nine of 11 tracks on the new album. It was important to put his own personal stamp on the affecting tunes about redemption and spirituality.

“I think a little something is lost in translation when the person who is delivering the song did not write the song,” he said.

The stark remake of Chris Stapleton’s “Whiskey and You,” off 2015’s award-winning “The Traveler,” was a last-minute addition.

“I heard that one night, having had a little bit too much to drink, and it completely flattened me. Chris had no intention of releasing the song as a single, so when we got finished with song No. 9 (in the studio) and we needed song No. 10, I suggested it because I had been covering it already (live). Chris said he’d be honored for me to cut the song.”

Other standouts are the swampy title track duet with Nelson (among several featuring wicked harmonica work from Mickey Raphael of the Red-Headed Stranger’s touring band); a quiet, acoustic guitar-based “Mama,” the sad “Lost and Lonely,” “Stuck in These Shoes” and twangy “Northern Redneck.”

The latter is a response to people who feel New Englanders like Lewis can’t write authentic country music.

“It came from everybody north of the Mason-Dixon pretty much being excluded out of every single country song ever written — especially lately. That was the inspiration. Most of my dad’s side of the family is as Podunk as it gets.”

Lewis’ teenage girl Zoe handles lead on Bruce Robison’s “Travelin’ Soldier” (a No. 1 hit for Dixie Chicks).

“I just wanted to create a memory with my daughter that no one could ever screw up. I’ve heard her sing that a thousand times around the house … I was an extremely proud papa [afterwards].”

By all rights, “Sinner” should prove to those whose question Lewis’ transition from rock to country that he’s the real deal.

“It’s taken five years, three records and a whole bunch of sold out shows before anybody finally took notice and realized that I’m not going anywhere. I grew up on country music. It was the first music I ever heard. Get over it. I am country and I’ve been country my whole life. Just because I had a career in the rock business didn’t make me any less country.”

City National Grove of Anaheim
When: 8 p.m. Thursday.
Address: 2200 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim.
Tickets: $42.
Information: 714-712-2700,

Riverside Municipal Auditorium
When: 7 p.m. Saturday.
Address: 3485 Mission Inn Ave.
Tickets: $32.
Information: 951-779-9800,,
My article originally appeared at and

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

dada celebrate silver anniversary with California concerts

Two decades after the Los Angeles alt-pop band dada embarked on its original journey, singer-guitarist Michael Gurley, singer-bassist Joie Calio and drummer Phil Leavitt are celebrating the band’s 25th anniversary with plans for a national tour deemed the “dada Forever Tour” in 2017.

“dada is about digging into our roots, examining and celebrating it.” Says Calio

Hear what the band had to say here:

Since the release of their 1992 debut Puzzle, the trio has created an array of songs boasting progressive rock musicianship, dazzling vocal harmonies and melodic power pop layered with a hint of psychedelic rock. Adding to the trio’s groundbreaking line of attack are the marathon-length shows that deliver on the promise that every performance is the only one of its kind.

Puzzle's first single “Dizz Knee Land” found widespread airplay on alternative and mainstream rock outlets cracking the Top 5 on the Modern Rock Singles chart and pushing the album's sales to over 1,000,000 worldwide.

The success of Puzzle was followed in 1994 by American Highway Flower, featuring “Ask the Dust” and “Feet to the Sun.” dada has gone on to create a discography featuring a half-dozen full-length albums and an EP. The trio has also issued a number of solo efforts and offshoot projects along the way exploring a range of styles including folk, blues, jazz and rock. Gurley and Leavitt were both members of Butterfly Jones while dada was on hiatus in the early ‘00s; Calio has released several solo discs and with X Levitation Cult. Mike Gurley and the Nightcaps are a popular jazz group in Southern California. Additionally, Leavitt has stepped out from behind the drum set as lead singer and Calio is playing guitar in 7Horse, a psychedelic blues project that has released 3 albums to date.

“People always ask, ‘Do you still talk to each other after all these years?’ So that’s really why I wanted to commemorate it because no matter the size of the career if you can stick together and still have a desire to play music together you have accomplished something” explains Leavitt.

Tour dates:

2/16/17 Canyon Club Agoura Hills, CA
2/17/17 The Rose Pasadena, CA
2/18/17 Coach House Orange Country, CA
2/19/17 Hotel Utah San Francisco. CA with 7Horse

More to come.

Garth Brooks teams with Target for exclusive box set

Target Corp. and Garth Brooks have announced the complete track listing and pre-order information for “Garth Brooks: The Ultimate Collection,” the 10-disc boxed set featuring Brooks’ new studio album and nine discs of curated music from his celebrated catalog.

The collection, available only at Target, features 18 previously unreleased tracks, including the highly-anticipated 25th anniversary edition of “Friends in Low Places” with special guests George Strait, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line and Keith Urban.

“Garth Brooks: The Ultimate Collection” ($29.99) will be released on Nov. 11, two weeks prior to the studio album’s national standalone street date on Nov. 25 for Pearl Records, Inc. During the pre-order, which began today on, fans can purchase a limited-release $29.99 holiday bundle – the 10-disc collection and “Christmas Together,” the first-ever duets album with Brooks and wife Trisha Yearwood.

“The Target boxed set IS the ultimate collection. Ten discs, previously unreleased tracks, and never before audio releases of some of the biggest moments in Garth music history, makes me love this collection,” said Brooks. “For example, the 25th Anniversary Edition of ‘Friends in Low Places’ with George Strait, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line and Keith Urban is only available in this box and will be gone when the boxes are gone. I applaud Target for making so much music available at such an incredible value. Target has made this boxed set the gift to give and receive this holiday season.”

“We’ve worked with Garth to create a truly compelling offer at a value that’s simply unbeatable,” said Mark Tritton, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, Target. “Not only will we have Garth’s new album two weeks before it is available anywhere else, we’ve also filled our boxed set with highly anticipated tracks that guests will only ever find at Target. In total, it’s a can’t-miss music moment for Garth’s fans and music lovers of all ages.”

Brooks’ new studio album, which he describes as feeling like summer all year long, is the perfect companion to nine thematic playlist discs of unreleased and remastered hits. In addition to the 25th anniversary edition of “Friends in Low Places,” which appears as one of two Target-exclusive tracks on his new studio album, the boxed set also includes “The Road: The Live Recordings.” The two-disc live album features some of Brooks’ biggest crowd pleasers and special collaborations, including never-before-released live recordings of “New York State Of Mind” with Billy Joel, “In Another’s Eyes” with Trisha Yearwood and “American Pie” featuring Don McLean.

For the latest news about “Garth Brooks: The Ultimate Collection” and the singer’s partnership with Target, fans can visit

Track listing for “Garth Brooks: The Ultimate Collection”:

Old School
1. Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)
2. If Tomorrow Never Comes
3. 1982+
4. Unwound
5. Longneck Bottle
6. Two Of A Kind, Workin’ On A Full House
7. Good Ol’ Boys Like Me
8. Amos Moses
9. That Ol’ Wind
10. Alabama Clay
11. White Lightning
12. Don’t Close Your Eyes

Midnight Fire
1. Shameless
2. The Red Strokes
3. She’s Every Woman
4. What She’s Doing Now
5. In Another’s Eyes (The Duet with Trisha Yearwood)
6. One Night a Day
7. A Friend to Me
8. Anonymous
9. Victim Of The Game
10. Which One of Them
11. More Than A Memory
12. To Make You Feel My Love

1. Good Ride Cowboy
2. Rodeo
3. That Girl Is A Cowboy
4. Rodeo Or Mexico
5. Night Rider’s Lament
6. My Baby No Esta Aqui
7. Cowgirl’s Saddle
8. Cowboy Bill
9. Midnight Sun
10. Rodeo And Juliet
11. In Lonesome Dove
12. The Cowboy Song

The Road (Disc One)
1. Standing Outside The Fire
2. Rodeo
3. Shameless
4. If Tomorrow Never Comes
5. That Summer
6. In Another’s Eyes (Duet With Trisha Yearwood)+
7. Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)
8. Unanswered Prayers
9. Longneck Bottle
10. One Night A Day+
11. To Make You Feel My Love
12. Wrapped Up In You (Featuring Keb Mo)
13. The River
14. American Pie (Featuring Don McLean)+

The Road (Disc Two)
1. The Thunder Rolls (The Long Version)
2. Two Of A Kind, Workin’ On A Full House
3. Two Piña Coladas
4. More Than A Memory
5. Good Ride Cowboy
6. Wild As The Wind (Duet With Trisha Yearwood)
7. Working For A Living (The Duet With Huey Lewis In LA)
8. It’s Your Song
9. New York State Of Mind (The Duet With Billy Joel)+
10. Midnight Sun+
11. The Dance

1. The Dance
2. Standing Outside The Fire
3. Unanswered Prayers
4. Thicker Than Blood
5. How You Ever Gonna Know
6. The Change
7. Belleau Wood
8. People Loving People
9. The River
10. Mom
11. Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream
12. When You Come Back To Me Again

The Covers
1. Against The Wind
2. Sweet Home Alabama
3. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me
4. Mrs. Robinson
5. Midnight Train To Georgia
6. (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay
7. Hard Luck Woman (With Kiss)
8. Who’ll Stop The Rain
9. Wild World
10. All Right Now
11. Drift Away
12. Goodnight Saigon

1. Against The Grain
2. She’s Tired Of Boys
3. Rollin’
4. Addicted To Love
5. Cold Like That
6. You Move Me
7. Ireland
8. Don’t Cross The River
9. I’ll Be The Wind
10. Doctor My Eyes
11. Working For A Living (The Duet With Huey Lewis)
12. Do What You Gotta Do

Turn It Up
1. The Thunder Rolls
2. That Summer
3. You Wreck Me
4. Why Ain’t I Running
5. Wrapped Up In You
6. I’d Rather Have Nothing
7. Allison Miranda
8. Black Water
9. Midnight Train
10. Dixie Chicken
11. Man Against Machine
12. Two Piña Coladas

1. Honky-Tonk Somewhere+
2. Weekend+
3. Ask Me How I Know+
4. Baby, Let’s Lay Down And Dance+
5. He Really Loves You+
6. Whiskey To Wine+
7. BANG! BANG! +
8. Pure Adrenaline+
9. 8teen+
10. SugarCane+
11. Cowboys and Friends+ (Target exclusive track)
12. Friends In Low Places – 25th Anniversary Edition+ (Target exclusive track)

+ indicates previously unreleased track

New Prince retrospective slated for November

NPG/Warner Bros. Records announced two new Prince releases that will celebrate the iconic artist's music and introduce fans to previously unreleased material from his legendary vault. This will mark the first Prince recordings released since his passing on April 21st of this year.

Released on Nov. 22 in the U.S. and Nov. 25 around the world, Prince 4Ever will bring together 40 of Prince's best-loved songs, including the blockbuster hits "When Doves Cry," "Let's Go Crazy," "Kiss," "Little Red Corvette," "Purple Rain," "Raspberry Beret," "Sign O' The Times," "Alphabet Street," "Batdance," "Cream," and "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World."

Prince 4Ever includes "Moonbeam Levels" - a previously unreleased song originally recorded in 1982 during the 1999 sessions and later considered for the never released Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic album. Prince 4Ever will also arrive with a 12-page booklet of never-before-seen photos by acclaimed photographer Herb Ritts.

In addition, early next year will see the release of the much-anticipated remastered, deluxe version of Purple Rain, plans for which were agreed with Prince before he passed away. The remaster of the classic Purple Rain will arrive with a second album of previously unreleased material. More details will be revealed closer to the release date.

Track listing for Prince 4Ever:
1. 1999
2. Little Red Corvette
3. When Doves Cry
4. Let's Go Crazy
5. Raspberry Beret
6. I Wanna Be Your Lover
7. Soft and Wet
8. Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad
9. Uptown
10. When You Were Mine
11. Head
12. Gotta Stop (Messin' About)
13. Controversy
14. Let's Work
15. Delirious
16. I Would Die 4 U
17. Take Me With U
18. Paisley Park
19. Pop Life
20. Purple Rain
21. Kiss
22. Sign 'O' The Times
23. Alphabet Street
24. Batdance
25. Thieves In The Temple
26. Cream
27. Mountains
28. Girls & Boys
29. If I Was Your Girlfriend
30. U Got The Look
31. I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man
32. Glam Slam
33. Moonbeam Levels
34. Diamonds and Pearls
35. Gett Off
36. Sexy MF
37. My Name Is Prince
38. 7
39. Peach
40. Nothing Compares 2 U

Rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry to release first album in decades

Chuck Berry, the artist who codified the sound, rhythm and language of rock and roll, celebrated his 90th birthday last week with the surprise announcement that he will release a new album – titled simply ‘CHUCK’ - in 2017 on Dualtone Records (an Entertainment One Company).

Comprised primarily of new, original songs written, recorded and produced by the founding rock and roll legend, ‘CHUCK’ is Berry’s first new album in 38 years. It was recorded in various studios around St. Louis and features Berry’s longtime hometown backing group - including his children Charles Berry Jr. (guitar) and Ingrid Berry (harmonica), plus Jimmy Marsala (Berry’s bassist of forty years), Robert Lohr (piano), and Keith Robinson (drums) - which has supported him for over two decades on over two hundred residency shows at the famed Blueberry Hill club. 

More details about ‘CHUCK’ and other Berry-related events will be revealed in the coming weeks.

“This record is dedicated to my beloved Toddy,” said Berry, referring to his wife of 68 years, Themetta Berry.  “My darlin’ I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”

“What an honor to be part of this new music,” says Charles Berry Jr. “The St. Louis band, or as dad called us ‘The Blueberry Hill Band,’ fell right into the groove and followed his lead. These songs cover the spectrum from hard driving rockers to soulful thought provoking time capsules of a life's work.”